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Leaky roof

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by 4RunnerRene, Jun 20, 2022.

  1. Jun 20, 2022 at 11:08 PM

    4RunnerRene [OP] New Member

    Jul 27, 2020
    First Name:
    2020 4Runner
    Anyone know what to use if your roof rack is leaking into the car? And how to stop it?
  2. Jun 20, 2022 at 11:30 PM
    Snickel Fritz

    Snickel Fritz Do not develop this member's app

    Oct 7, 2018

    This is the kind of problem I completely understand foregoing the normal formalities to seek help for.
    It's also a problem I can help with!

    First, you're gonna want a few items;

    Socket wrench set, it's gonna be a 12 or 13 mm I believe for the everything but the pro rack... those are some kind of star bit, I think. Look this up, this isn't the useful bit anyway...

    Some rags/cloths and some clear rubbing alcohol for cleaning around the roof holes.

    Plastic pokey thingies, or "trim removal tools" to pop the plastic bits open without marring them (probably not applicable on a Pro rack)

    Most importantly- BUTYL SEALING TAPE!
    This stuff is cheap ($7 a roll at my local Lowes near the shed roofing corrugated panels) and the best thing you can use. It's good enough to seal windshields.
    It comes in a roll of "tape", basically like really soft kneadable eraser putty, so it is best to store it in the fridge until cutting off little nubs for use.
    Each bolt hole (after cleaning) gets a little "snake" of the stuff wrapped around it, spaced about 1/4" from the edges of the hole (doesn't need to be exact or precise, just keep it off the actual hole edges). To get the right amount of butyl, just try to roll a "snake" that is about 1.25" long and 1/8" thick. The tapered ends can be pinched and mashed together, and the ring can then be placed over the bolt hole.

    Unless you are missing the OEM rubber gaskets for the mounting feet, or have some other damage, then you should be able to tighten the roof bolts back down over that butyl and have no leaks for another decade or more. I even deleted my sharkfin antenna, plugging the giant rectangular hole with butyl on the edges and covered it with an aluminum plate... it held up for three years, from West TX to West Virginia and not once in a garage.

    If you have any other questions, be sure to give us the details on your 4R and the rack you have, etc.
    We can be helpful when we're not boofing bath salts and eating your face.
    Toy4X4, Spare Parts and PVT Pablo like this.

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